Should Food Stamps Be Used For Ice Cream?
There's a lot of controversy over pretty much every government movement and idea right now, and one of those controversial ideas deals with what you can buy using food stamps.
According to KCPQ, Tennessee Republican Rep. Sheila Butt has proposed a bill in which foods with no nutritional value, such as soda, ice cream, candy, cookies and cake, would no longer be covered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Furthermore, this bill would require Tennessee's Department of Human Services to help compile a list of which food items, specifically, should be banned. The USDA would be consulted in coming up with this proposed list.
This new bill would likely affect about 1 million people in Tennessee who depend on SNAP. WTVC reports that if the bill is passed and becomes law, it will take effect in July. The news station asked some members of the Tennessee community how they'd feel about such a change, and in return they received mixed reviews.
One citizen said: "Milk and food items [are] fine. That's what they're for. Just to sustain life. All this other stuff is extra stuff."
Another citizen expressed that, while it's a healthy decision, many people will probably dislike being told what they can and cannot eat.
SNAP already has some requirements for what is and isn't allowed under coverage, but the program isn't too strict. Currently, SNAP recipients can use their benefits to buy anything that is considered a "home food" item, , including soda and cake, according to the USDA. Recipients, however, cannot buy hot food items from store delis or bakeries.
Whether the proposed bill is a fair change, I can't imagine that it should cause too much uproar. Of course, no one wants to be told what they can and cannot eat, but the program still covers the essentials, and that's really what it's there to do. It seems to me like a tough-love rule, which is okay in my book.